Tour of California: Richie Porte suffers ill-timed mechanical on Mt. Baldy
18 May 2019 06:08
A dropped chain hampered Trek-Segafredo leader Richie Porte's efforts to be among the select climbers racing for the stage 6 victory at the Tour of California in the last kilometre of the summit finish on Mt. Baldy on Friday. The Australian was forced to settle for fourth place but said that he was pleased to have been part of the final mix. "The mechanical in the last kilometres was obviously ill-timed, but I don't know if I could have won today," Porte said. "Regardless of that mechanical and the result of today, it was nice to be back at the front of a bike race again." The penultimate stage of the Tour of California was a 127.5km race from Ontario to the summit of Mt. Baldy, but it arrived after a challenging week of racing, covering almost 21,000 metres of elevation gain and where more than half of the stages were over 200km.ADVERTISEMENT Porte formed part of the select group that included stage winner Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma). Trek-Segafredo had several riders helping Porte into the final kilometres to bring back a late attack from Max Schachmann (Deceuninck-QuickStep). Overnight leader Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) fell off the pace part way up the climb. "The guys did an amazing job today, and the whole week, actually," Porte said. "Today we made the race hard, and it's just great what the guys did to back me, especially after my last races where things didn't go as I wanted them to. It feels really good to be back in the game." Speaking with *Cycingnews ahead of stage 2's race to South Lake Tahoe, Porte said that he wasn't sure how his body would react to the altitude or the climbs during the week, but that he would use the seven-day race as a test of form as part of is preparations for the Tour de France.
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